Metter City Council has adopted a fire fee on all commercial and industrial structures within the city based on the square footage of the individual structure. The fee will be assessed beginning in January.

As he addressed council about the fee structure during the Oct. 14 meeting, Interim City Manager Carter Crawford explained that he believed a fee based on square footage was the best way to assess the fee. 

“We’re just trying to make it fair,” added Fire Chief Jason Douglas of the square-footage fee structure. 

For those with active sprinkler systems that are current with NFPA inspection and compliance tags, there will be a 50 percent discount of the annual fee. The fee will be divided into 12 payments and will be assessed on any structure with a business license.

An annual pre-fire plan inspection will be conducted on each commercial and industrial structure.

“This fee will also encourage behaviors that reduce the fire risk, thus reducing the potential risk to life and property for the residents of Metter and the firefighters of Metter Fire-Rescue Department,” Douglas added.

The fee begins at $85 for up to 5,000 sq. ft., $280 for up to 80,000 sq. ft. For larger buildings, the fee will be $290 plus $10 for each additional 5,000 sq. ft.

In other business of the meeting, council approved a motion to clarify the city’s animal ordinance regarding the tethering of dogs.

Under the ordinance, tethers must be at least 10 feet in length and tangle resistant. Additionally, the tether must be attached to a leash or collar and not directly to the animal’s neck. The ordinance also stipulates that the pet owner is required to give the animal time to exercise off tether each day.

Council also approved a resolution to recertify the city as a Certified City of Ethics and adopted a Memorandum of Understanding between the city and Main Street Metter. The MOU allows Main Street Metter to handle advertising and promotions for the city, according to Heidi Jeffers, Metter’s director of tourism and business development.

The existing agreement between the city and Better Fresh Farms as the city’s first incubator business, was also extended during the meeting. 

Grant Anderson of Better Fresh Farms was present to thank the city for their partnership and support. He announced that the plan is to have four farms fully operational in Metter by the end of the calendar year.

Regarding the incubator program, council also approved the lease agreement between the city and the Georgia Southern Board of Regents.

In other business of the meeting, Council:

•Approved a retail alcohol license for Parkers #49.

•Approved a lease agreement with Georgia Municipal Association for a 2019 Ford F250 Brush Truck for Metter Fire-Rescue.

•Approved a bid of $64,700 from Weathercoat Inc. for roof repairs on the incubator building on S. Terrell St.

• Approved a bid from EMC Engineering for the LMIG project on S. College St. between Pine and Hiawatha. Bid amount was $16,900.

•Approved a partial closing of Woodcock St. from the Hadden property to Lillian St.

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